Thumbs up ... to “The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail” being named 2012 Book of the Year in the adult nonfiction/nature category by ForeWord Reviews. The book documents the trail’s significance with historical essays and 300 full-color photos as well as previously unpublished historical photos, documents, and maps from the ATC archives. The book was also named No. 1 among 2012 holiday season’s book picks by Parade magazine, listed among Publisher’s Weekly’s top 10 travel books for fall 2012, and named a best book of the month by Amazon.com.
Thumbs up ... to Liberty High School theater, band and music appreciation teacher Jeremy Rodriguez, who was presented with the 2013 Freida J. Riley Achievement Award for West Virginia Teacher of the Year from Rocket Boy and Prodigy Foundation President Roy Lee Cooke. Rodriguez also won the Great American Teach-Off back in April. The award is given to a teacher who works with a physical disability, teaches in an especially challenging educational environment or has performed a heroic act by making an exceptional, personal or physical sacrifice on behalf of students.
Thumbs up ... to Jerry and Sherry Rose of Beckley, chosen as the 2013 Spirit of Beckley Award winners. The couple has dedicated their lives to dance and bringing opportunities to dancers in southern West Virginia through their Beckley Dance Theatre. The Roses will be honored at the Spirit of Beckley Award dinner Monday, Dec. 9.
Thumbs up ... to everyone that took part in the West Virginia’s 2013 Day to Serve that benefited the Raleigh County Humane Society. More than 30 volunteers fastened together a total of 45 beds over the course of the day. The beds sit 4 to 6 inches above the ground and create a warmer, more hygienic, and overall healthier and more comfortable sleeping situation for shelter dogs while they wait to find their forever homes.
Thumbs up ... to money distributed among Wyoming County’s volunteer fire departments from the Mass Litigation Panel in relation to devastating floods July 8, 2001. Wyoming County’s portion was $11,790.56, which was given to Brenton, Coal Mountain, Cyclone, Hanover, Mullens, Oceana, Upper Laurel and the Wyoming County Fire Company in Pineville.
Thumbs up ... to Friends of the Lewis House, which raised over $1,000 through a recent drawing. Brian Stevens, of Brian’s Service Center in Oak Hill, won a pair of $100 gift cards — from Kroger and Exxon. The money will be used for needed repairs such as paint on the porch, repairing the roof soffit and cleaning out the gutters of the historic downtown structure.
Thumbs up ... to a new report saying community corrections programs in West Virginia are succeeding at keeping nonviolent offenders out of prisons and jails. Between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, some 3,862 offenders were placed in the programs, which are offered in 49 of the state’s 55 counties, according to the Community Corrections Act Fiscal 2013 report. More than 1,400 offenders successfully completed assigned counseling and training programs.